The Conservator-General, National Park Service (NPS), Dr. Ibrahim Goni, has solicited the partnership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) towards safeguarding the nation’s forest reserve.
Goni made the call when the management staff of NPS paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, in Abuja.
According to a statement by Maj-Gen Benjamin Sawyer, Director, Defence Information, Goni said NPS was established for the purpose of protecting and conserving the biodiversity in the designated areas identified as national parks, game reserves and forest reserves.
The conservator-general commended the military for the support far, adding that there was need to sustain the existing collaboration towards tackling the current security challenges facing the nation.
He said that the collaborative arrangement would be on combat training of NPS personnel and logistic support in order to boost the agency’s mandate of securing the forest reserves.
According to him, “these forest reserves and national parks which are approximately 1,129 square metres have become hideouts for bandits and terrorists”.
Responding, the CDS, Gen. Irabor, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Policy and Planning, AVM Dahiru Sanda, reiterated the commitment of the military to collaborate with the NPS.
Irabor described the service as a key agency in the nation’s security architecture.
He called on all stakeholders to support the organisation towards ensuring that the forests were well protected against criminal elements
The CDS charged NPS on the need to dominate the nation’s forests in terms of intelligence gathering and information sharing with the military and other security agencies so as to checkmate every form of terror and other crimes.
By Sumaila Ogbaje